US - American employers are increasingly turning to phased retirement to keep hold of older workers in the face of an ageing workforce and a shortage of skilled labour, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI).
The new research claims that flexible work options - often termed bridge jobs or phased retirement - enables retirement-age employees to extend their working lives by gradually reducing their workload.
EBRI president Dallas Salisbury said: Employers who are receptive to phased retirement arrangements can benefit from retaining the valued skills and institutional knowledge of long-term employees, particularly in the information / technology industries. In addition, they can achieve hiring, training, and turnover cost savings by minimising new hires.
The EBRI also believes that phased retirement is becoming more popular with the baby boom generation, as some studies indicate that inadequate savings may force people to work longer than they had planned, to sustain their retirement.
Aside from financial necessity, the EBRI claims that individuals may want to voluntarily work beyond normal retirement age. The organisation's Retirement Confidence Survey found that 60% of workers plan to work in retirement, and that the primary reason to do so was down to the fact that they wished to remain active, rather than monetary factors.
By Geoffrey Ho
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